David Irving
Chief Executive Officer

After a twenty-five year career in financial sales, David Irving committed the remainder of his career to increasing the academic opportunities available to economically disadvantaged students.

Beginning in 2002, David founded HigherSchool Publishing and wrote The Parent's Guide to Better Grades, 7 Steps to Improve Your Child's Academic Performance. This instructional guide has successfully helped thousands of parents improve their children's study habits, organizational skills, and academic performance.

In 2004, David started HigherSchool Tutoring to provide supplemental educational services to Title I students attending underperforming public and public charter schools. Title I is a federal grant program designed to give additional academic support to students living in areas of high poverty. HigherSchool helped these students build a strong foundation in basic skills and perform on grade level.

In 2009, David created HigherSchool Instructional Services to provide instruction and extended learning in core subjects to Title I students in pre-kindergarten through high school attending public and nonpublic schools; professional development to teachers and principals; support services to students in need of counseling; and parent involvement workshops.

Prior to forming HigherSchool, David was the Regional Vice President for Delta Education, the K-12 Science Division of School Specialty where he managed the Sales Division for the Eastern Region of the US. Before Delta he was the Regional Sales Manager for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development where he marketed professional development programs and workshops to school districts and universities throughout the Midwest.

David attended Howard University in Washington, DC where he majored in Economics. He resides in Annapolis, MD with his wife and children.

Ricardo Burns
President

Ricardo Burns is a seasoned educator with over 30 years’ experience working for public and private educational institutions. He is a product of the School District of Philadelphia. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Cheyney University. Ricardo is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Ricardo began his career as a teacher at Deveraux Day School. He then joined the School District of Philadelphia where he taught at Shaw Middle and Sulzberger Middle School. During his teaching career, Ricardo is credited with initiating many programs that targeted at-risk African American male students.

Ricardo served as the Assistant Principal at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School and the Principal of Sayre Middle School. Before leaving the School District of Philadelphia in 2000, Ricardo was appointed as the Bartram Cluster leader, where he provided leadership to over 15 schools and 10,000 students.

From 2000 to 2004, Ricardo served as the Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning for the School District of Lancaster. He was also the Superintendent of the Lancaster School District. While in Lancaster, Ricardo was instrumental in helping to turn around several troubled Middle Schools.

As Chief Operating Officer of Alternatives Unlimited from 2004-2006, Ricardo worked with school districts around the country providing alternative education programs for Dropouts. Ricardo has extensive experience working with students who have had challenges in traditional school settings, and has overseen several programs that targeted At-Risk students.

As the President of HigherSchool Instructional Services, Ricardo was instrumental in expanding its Supplemental Education Services program in Baltimore City from 200 students in 2007 to 1,750 students in 2012.

Ricardo currently supervises HigherSchool’s expansion of Title I programs and services in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Miriam Friedman
Director

Miriam Friedman is the Director of HigherSchool’s Title I Nonpublic School Program under the New York City Department of Education. Prior to joining HigherSchool in 2009, Miriam was the principal of Machon Academy in Briarwood, New York, for twelve years, a school primarily attended by English Language Learners. Prior to becoming principal Miriam was an administrator and taught integrated high school math.

Under Miriam's leadership and guidance the number of nonpublic schools we service has grown exponentially. To manage our instructional programs in these schools, Miriam directs a team of 200 administrators, staff and instructors.

As our liaison to the Department of Education Miriam is constantly working to improve the Title I program on behalf of our participating students, schools and instructors and to ensure that the educational needs of both the schools and the targeted children are met. Miriam is readily available to the non-public school administrators, and is always eager to hear their concerns and feedback in an effort to constantly fine tune our program.

Renee Hochhauser
Director of Teaching and Learning

Dr. Renee Sohn Hochhauser has been the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for HigherSchool Instructional Services since 2012. Prior to that she was an administrator and teacher in the New York City public school system for over twenty years. As the Assistant Principal at Enrico Fermi Junior High School 111 in Brooklyn, and Head of School at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Renee brings a wide range of educational experiences to her current position with HigherSchool, including work with bilingual, special needs, and gifted students. Renee holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Yeshiva University as well as New York State Certifications in School Administration and Supervision (SAS and SDA).

Renee's current position at HigherSchool involves collaboration with school principals, as well as teaching staff to arrive at specific learning goals aligned with the Common Core standards for the Title I students participating in our program. Renee has infused our program with new curricula and assessments to better meet the needs and cultural diversity of our assigned students.

While providing professional development for our instructional staff and supervisory visits to the many schools that we service, Renee enjoys mentoring the less experienced teachers, while sharing valuable tips and insights with our more seasoned teachers.

James Hagedorn
Director, Online and STEM Instruction

James Hagedorn is currently the Director of Online curriculum and instruction for HigherSchool services. Before joining HigherSchool, Jim was an officer in the establishment of four companies, two of which led to public offerings. He also developed innovative technology-based learning solutions for corporate and educational markets.

Jim has more than 25 years as a teacher, curriculum developer, and the successful management of educational companies. He has spent the last 14 years developing technology- based training and distance learning, first as president of Enfolinc, a technology training company, then as a founder of Global Learning Systems, and twelve years as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Educational Options, Inc.

Before becoming involved in the software industry, Jim was a secondary school teacher for eight years in Montgomery County, Maryland. He possesses a B.S. in mathematics and geography from Frostburg State University, and a M.A. from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel University).